Point 1: Key Player
|Key Stats:||106.00 Yards/Gm; 1 TD; 8.48 Yards/Att|
It seems logical that the one guy that hasn’t been asked to carry the load will be asked to carry the load this week. I don’t know why, but a part of me things that Washington is going to have to be a more integral part of the offense this week as I’d imagine that Arkansas is going to want to make sure that QB Patrick Mahomes doesn’t beat them deep. Those are killer plays and as detailed below, Arkansas isn’t afraid to plan man-coverage, but maybe they’ve seen enough of that. If that’s the case, the Mahomes is going to have to be patient and let his senior do the work until things can loosen up offensively.
Point 2: Uniform Tracker
|Sam Houston State||W, 59-45|
Point 3: Keys to the Game
Head coach Bret Bielema made it a point this week to discuss four things that he thinks his Arkansas team needs to do better this week. Point 1 was an emphasis on the penalties, in particular the penalties that put the team in bad spots. The offensive line coach said that Arkansas has too much movement, which I don’t know if that means pre-snap movement, which Arkansas did do against Toledo, but watching to see how that works will be interesting. Bielema was most upset at a holding penalty during a punt return that resulted in a touchdown, but came back because of the penalty. That’s something that Texas Tech did last year, which is to take points off the board. I’d also be on the lookout for Arkansas in the red zone, where they passed their way to very few points, only 1 for 5, and I’d imagine that this is where Arkansas will absolutely run the ball:
The Razorbacks’ last two possessions, which reached as far as the Toledo 1- and 16, both ended on downs. Allen had Henry open over the middle on the second-to-last play of the game, but overthrew him. The final play ended with a scramble play and Allen misfiring for Hatcher in the end zone.
“The biggest thing is it’s tough to pass in the red zone,” Allen said. “The field shrinks and windows get a lot tighter, so it’s difficult to pass the ball down there, but that’s where that run game really steps up and makes it easier for you.”
The keys for Texas Tech will be to continue the trend from last week, which is not having any unforced penalties that puts Texas Tech in a bad spot, especially on the road, and this team had better man-up when Arkansas gets in the red zone.
Point 4: Texas Tech Offense vs. Arkansas Defense
Prolific vs. stingy. This should be a terrific battle of wills. The biggest difference between the way that Arkansas played UTEP vs. Texas Tech is that Arkansas didn’t allow any big plays. They’re very consistent and thus far, they haven’t given up much of anything on the defensive side of the ball.
Point 5: Texas Tech Defense vs. Arkansas Offense
It seems that those Arkansas rushing yards will be significantly higher after Saturday, but who knows. It’s crazy to think that Texas Tech is averaging more rushing yards per game than Arkansas. Let that sink in for a minute. The conversion rates for the Arkansas offense is just fine and Texas Tech is going to have to tighten up that red zone percentage here pretty soon. Should also note that most of the havoc stats for Arkansas came against UTEP, and had hardly any against Toledo.
Point 6: A Look at the Arkansas Offense
Toledo doesn’t do anything fancy here, but this is to demonstrate how Arkansas will flip the strength of the formation. Those two tight ends were at the bottom of the screen mere moments before this screen cap. This is my concern with Robertson, which is if Robertson is the weakside on the initial part of the play, how is he going to deal with a tackle and a tight end.
Again, continuing with this play and I want to point out that this is a screen pass that doesn’t go for very much. Arkansas does all of this and they throw a screen pass the first time they get the ball.
This was some play-action by Arkansas, which is why you’ve got the linebackers a bit out there. Notice how shallow the routes are on 1st and 10.
The reason behind this screen cap is that this is another screen play and as you can see, there are three Arkansas offensive linemen out there ready to block someone, or you would think. They actually don’t lay a hand on anyone and this ends up being a gain of 1 or something. They’re really big, but they’re not trucking down the field looking to take out anyone.
Just wanted to point out here that although there is a tight end and a fullback, the tackles are in pre-snap pass protection and that’s exactly what they end up doing. Not sure if it’s a tell for every play, but it is here.
This is the Arkansas that I expect to see on Saturday night, 22 personnel and the tight ends again flip the strength of the field.
Point 7: A Look at the Arkansas Defense
First play of the game, it appears that Arkansas is in their base defense to defend the spread. I pretty much love this because we’re probably getting a preview of how Arkansas will cover Texas Tech. TWo safeties on top and everyone else is pretty much base.
This is the same play, but I wanted to give you an idea as to how Arkansas is covering this play. The receiver at the bottom of the screen is about to come underneath his own man for a pretty nice little gain. It looks like Arkansas is playing zone here.
This time, we get a look at Arkansas covering 10 personnel, one running back and four receivers out wide. You can see that they’re pretty much going with a three man front here, although the linebacker at the top of the offensive line is about to just bring some heat, but the right tackle does a really nice job of picking him up. This also a time where Arkansas brings five pass rushers, so you can see that every defensive back has a man.
This is a continuation of that play and I’m posting both screen caps and you can see the Toledo quarterback eyeing the receiver at the top of the screen, who ends up making a terrific catch along the sideline. Either way, if there is even a bit of chemistry between the receivers and quarterback, there is going to be someone open because there’s no one else to cover deep.
Another play for you to see how Arkansas is covering after the ball is snapped. Lots of man coverage with a linebacker playing a really deep, darn near safety-depth, over the middle.